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The Student News Site of Darien High School


The Student News Site of Darien High School


All star nuggets? More like an all time favorite.
Nostalgia: But in Food
Reese Wilson, Journalist • May 14, 2024
Graduates throw their caps in the air as they prepare to move onto their next stage in life
Class of 2024: The Survivors
Katie Koslow, Pop Culture Editor • May 1, 2024

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Nostalgia: But in Food

The ultimate throwback: making certain foods is a satisfying return to childhood
“Kid Cuisine Meals” (Congra Food Brand)
“All star nuggets?” More like an all time favorite.

 If someone asked you the question, “What is a food that reminds you of the good old times?” What would you think of? For me, my mind would instantly go to my mother’s warm, gooey, sweet, blueberry French toast she makes on cold winter days. I asked seniors, Josie Tunney and Cate Shockey, they said “Twix Yogurts” and “Kid Cuisine Meals”. They took a minute to come up with an answer but once they did, a happy smile appeared on their faces. When we think of our childhood or special moments in our lives, certain foods often come to mind. The smell reminds us of our kitchen. These nostalgic connections are deeply rooted in our emotions and can bring us comfort and joy subconsciously without us realizing it. 


Here is my mother’s famous blueberry french toast. This sweet recipe has been passed on for years throughout her family now to ours and it stays on paper; it will never become digital. That is what makes it nostaglic! (Reese Wilson)


 Restaurants and food companies have recognized this power and have capitalized on it by offering nostalgic food experiences. From the Darien Diner, they created a retro-themed atmosphere, serving classic milkshakes and burgers to limited-edition snacks that remind us of our favorite childhood treats. These offerings tap into our desire for simpler times. They even keep homemade pies in a case for customers to see. Even though the delicious treats most of the time go untouched, it doesn’t mean people aren’t staring at them with a watering mouth.

When you eat, a chemical reaction of dopamine floods through your body and makes you feel warm and happy. According to Steve Konopelski, a chef instructor at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, food nostalgia can be defined as “a sentimental reflection of a food experience or dish that we associate with a happy or meaningful time.” Simply put, when you bite into something tasty and are taken back to a memory or experience an inexplicable wistfulness, you are experiencing food nostalgia.

Now, try connecting warmth to a deeper meaning of nostalgia. Nostalgia is a powerful emotion that transports us back to the cherished moments of our past. It has the ability to evoke feelings of comfort and familiarity. The taste, smell, and texture of certain dishes have the means to send us back to our childhood or remind us of loved ones. When thinking of nostalgia in food, it’s hard not to conjure up your imagination and combine it with the past. 


Give thanks. Eat Pie. Delicious pies sitting in the “Darien Diner” waiting to be devoured. (Reese Wilson)

  But nostalgia in food goes beyond just marketing strategies; it has the potential to bring people together. Sharing a meal that reminds us of shared experiences can foster connections and create lasting memories with loved ones.In today’s fast-paced world, where stress and anxiety are prevalent, embracing nostalgia through food can provide solace and comfort. It allows us to escape from reality and relive cherished moments from our past. 

 So next time you’re craving something familiar or seeking calm from the chaos of life, indulge in some nostalgic cuisine. Let your taste buds take you on a journey down memory lane as you savor every bite. After all, there’s nothing quite like the warm embrace of nostalgia – especially when it comes served on a plate. 

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About the Contributor
Reese Wilson
Reese Wilson, Writer
Reese is a senior at DHS who started writing for Neirad in the fall of 2023. She loves writing about opinion pieces, movie reviews, and pop culture. You can find Reese listening to music in her room, playing outside with her dog, hanging out with friends, or watching Jersey Shore when she is not writing for Neirad!

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